7 Beauty Subscription Boxes for Every Budget

Makeup is expensive, but these boxes are worth every penny.

Makeup addictions, while not illegal or harmful to your health, can be just as expensive as other kinds of addictions. It seems that no matter whether one is shopping at the drugstore or department store, makeup prices are skyrocketing higher and higher every year. Being a financially struggling college student is already difficult, but tossing in the added itch to buy every new mascara or lipstick can really drive a budget into an early grave.

Luckily, beauty subscription boxes are here to save the day. For only a couple dollars every month they can quench your unending thirst for makeup, skincare and other beauty-related addictions without breaking the bank. Since there are so many to choose from, here are the top contenders across the beauty community.

1. Boxycharm – $21/box, every month

Boxycharm is undoubtedly one of the top beauty subscription boxes for every makeup lover. At $21 per month, it is one of the pricier boxes, but the value of the makeup you receive is almost unparalleled.

Unlike many subscription boxes, Boxycharm provides subscribers with four to five full-size products rather than sample-sized items, and the total worth of the box often exceeds $100 or more.

Brands offered by Boxycharm range from high-end companies, such as Tarte or BareMinerals, to smaller indie brands, such as Makeup Geek or Colourpop, and products can include anything from false eyelashes to makeup brushes to full-size eyeshadow palettes.

2. Play! By Sephora – $10/box, every month

On the newer side of subscription boxes, makeup supergiant Sephora is storming onto the subscription scene with their Play! subscription service. Since Sephora already carries thousands of high-end brands, their box is obviously going to have the best of the best.

They do not include full-size products, but they do offer five sample-sized items and one free perfume sample. Past boxes have included Kat Von D Lock It concealer, a Boscia charcoal face mask and even a decently-sized Living Proof dry shampoo. They may only offer sample sizes, but the box definitely gives a good bang for your buck.

3. Fortune Cookie Soap Box – $19.99/box, every season/every three months

Fortune Cookie Soap is a hidden gem in the beauty community. It is a very underground indie brand but definitely has some really great products!

First brought to mainstream consumers by beauty YouTuber Grav3yardgirl, Fortune Cookie Soap Box is unique in that it does not ship out new boxes every month, but rather four times a year with the changing of the seasons. Each box is themed and includes a wide variety of products ranging from bath bombs, body butter, shower jelly and beyond, and each includes the namesake fortune cookie soap. Past themes have included Harry Potter, the Nightmare Before Christmas, Old Hollywood and countless others.

4. GlossyBox – $21/box, every month

Another more prestigious subscription service on this list, Glossybox offers over four hundred brands to their subscribers. They pride themselves on having a global reach and source their products from all over the world. Though Glossybox, like Boxycharm, is on the higher end of the pricing, it offers a unique service for their subscribers.

Image via Jessoshii

Rather than sending out the same samples to all of the consumers, GlossyBox tailors each box to the individual person via a beauty profile the subscriber fills out once enrolled. They allow each person to update the profile as personal style changes, providing each with a personalized box to look forward to each and every month.

5. FabFitFun – $49.99/box, every season/every three months

Let’s forget what I said about GlossyBox and Boxycharm. This is one pricey box, and those of you in college that can afford it, count yourself lucky.

You may be wondering, because of its price, why I even included FabFitFun on this list, but the payoff of the box is incredible. The package provides not only beauty items to subscribers, but also wellness, fashion and fitness products. The overall value of the box is estimated to be over $200 when all the items are added up together, which is four times the amount that the box costs, proving that the brand speaks for itself.

6. MISHIBOX – $19.95/box, every month

Korean subscription brand MISHIBOX offers two types of boxes for their customers. The most popular, the Korean Beauty Box, offers a multitude of products for subscribers. Korean beauty products are one of the biggest trends in the fashion community as of late, with some brands starting to be carried by big stores like Sephora or Ulta.

MISHIBOX offers a more approachable and affordable entry into this trend, offering samples and full-size makeup and skincare products in each box. Their sites promotes their extremely fast shipping, products straight out of South Korea, free samples with every purchase and even a rewards program!

7. Birchbox – $10/box, every month

One of the most long-standing brands in beauty subscription service history, Birchbox, is an original and a great option for beginners or just the everyday beauty lover. Similar to GlossyBox, Birchbox allows subscribers to personalize their box via a beauty profile, however Birchbox only offers sample sizes as opposed to full-size products. They even offer a men’s box, more tailored to “manly” grooming samples, like beard oil or shaving butters. At only ten dollars per month, Birchbox offers the appeal of a tailored box and a wide variety of products without breaking the bank or having to give up a beauty addiction.

As a college girl with a gnawing makeup addiction, beauty subscription boxes have saved me. Personally, I am a member of Play! by Sephora and I am absolutely in love. My thirst to try new makeup whenever possible is quenched and all for about the same I spend on McDonald’s after a night out! So, whether you love to try new makeup products and don’t have the budget to blow hundreds at Sephora or you just love receiving packages in the mail, there is a beauty subscription box out there calling your name!

Keegan Fornoff, Southeast Missouri State University

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Keegan Fornoff

Southeast Missouri State University

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